Frank’s Message to the ‘Elites’: First Fix the Social Safety Net

We interviewed House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) this morning for TPMtv. It was a far-reaching conversation that covered a lot of ground, from the legal rights of mortgage holders to the return on the government’s TARP investment, and we’ll be posting a full transcript by tomorrow.

But one of Frank’s answers stuck with me more than all the rest. I asked about Paul Krugman’s concern — echoed by Josh yesterday — that “fair value” accounting would be used to artificially inflate the value of toxic assets that remain on the books of struggling banks. And Frank spoke directly to the social and economic divide that’s plaguing the country right now.